Changing the quorum requirements from four members to three was a non-starter during a special Gardner City Council meeting on April 29.
Council members called a special meeting to discuss making changes to the Charter Ordinance 19, city legislation that exempts the city from a series of state statutes that deal with the composition of the governing body, and the election and appointment of new members to the council.
Council member Larry Fotovich said repealing Charter Ordinance 19 backs the council out of a rut. Specifically, he said the four-person quorum creates problems when vacancies arise on the governing body. There is currently a vacancy on the council.
“If one of us were gone today, we could not have a meeting,” he said.
However, council member Steve Shute said lowering the number of a quorum to three implies that fewer people are needed to make a decision. With a quorum of three, it would take only two members to make a decision.
“We do have an issue, but lowering the quorum number sends the wrong message,” Shute said.
He suggested instead that the council consider increasing its size and moving from a council of five members to one with six or seven members.
(Read more: Gardner News)